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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

Palate development for kids

Yesterday morning I enjoyed a cool, rainy walk and watched the night turn today. I thought about a lot of things…

  • How can I get more movement variety into my children’s day?

  • When is the best time to clean the bathrooms today?

  • How can I use the garden today?

  • Along with many, many other random thoughts about everything from outer space to how my feet are interacting with the wet grass. (Anyone who knows me understands this last bit :))

  • What can I prepare for breakfast today?

Yesterday, the kids’ lunch plan was: chickpea salad with spinach, onion, red and orange bell pepper, cucumber, and sheep's milk feta. I had the chickpeas defrosting from a large batch I had prepared and frozen. That only left me with the veggie chopping to do. Based on that, I decided to serve a sausage and veggie scramble with chard and herbs from the garden. That way I could chop my veggies for the salad and scramble at the same time.

It turned out great!! It’s a simple combo that will serve the kids for three breakfasts:

1 pound pastured hot pork sausage, 1 small red onion, 1 tomato, 1 zucchini, 1 pound Swiss chard, 1/4 cup mixed chopped sage, oregano, basil, and chives.

I really try to introduce many different flavors to the children. When I create a combo dish, I am focused on getting something specific in them like greens or sulfur-containing veggies like onions, cauliflower or broccoli. So, one secret is to involve them in planning the dish and combine the target ingredients with something they really like. That was the plan with the lunch salad.

The boys LOVE chickpeas and feta. They really like bell peppers and sage. They like spinach, chopped and mixed into something. But, cucumbers and onions are not on the favorites list. The herbs and cracked black pepper are there to add flavor and to expand their palate. So, the above combination works great for my strategy!

Chop all ingredients and sauté all veggies except cucumber in a pan with coconut, olive or avocado oil over medium heat until soft.

Then add the chickpeas, herbs, and black pepper and stir to combine. Finally, add the chopped spinach or other greens and cook until wilted.

In a separate bowl add the chopped and peeled cucumber and feta. Then gently mix in the warmed veggie mix along with red wine vinegar and stir to combine.

The kids loved it! This will serve them two lunches and one breakfast meal.

I hope these dishes add some inspiration to your family meals. It does not have to be complex or difficult. Just follow some simple parameters and have a game plan. The “recipes” will just come to you.

Please share some of your family favorites.


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